Posts tagged ‘writing’

March 11, 2018

Guest Post: A Perfect Soundtrack by Lela Bay

Guest Blog: A Perfect Soundtrack by Lela Bay

Before I begin writing, I often create a playlist with the mood of the book. Unlike many authors, I don’t mind lyrics. I know I’ve been in the writing zone when I pause and suddenly reawaken of the music and singing that’s been playing all along.

Movie musicals know what they’re doing. They start with a powerful opening number. Just consider the release of La La Land, where an entire Los Angeles freeway becomes a thumping, mardi gras party for those stuck in traffic. It’s an easy daydream to have:

More recently, The Greatest Showman grabbed hold of the audience with its pulse-pounding opening number. The multi-talented Hugh Jackman owns the stage with his presence, and the tempo builds with the marvelous stomping effects.

However, even in non-musicals the soundtrack plays an integral role setting the tone of the movie. If you love music and romance, prepare to be blown away. The opening scene of A Perfect Man, with Liev Schreiber and Jeanne Tripplehorn, is the ideal of using music to set up the story and inspire the audience. It’s a beautiful, mysterious and powerful sequence. When I heard the music, I needed to know more. Hints in the lyrics sounded familiar. It nagged at me. In searching I discovered the opening lyrics were from Shakespeare’s Sonnet 57. The director filmed the movie but ran out of funds and didn’t finish it. Later, he showed a rough cut to a film class, and they were so impressed they insisted he complete the movie.

I couldn’t find a clip of the opening scene from A Perfect Man on Youtube for you. Ideally, go to Netflix and stream just the first 5 minutes of the movie (sorry film students, the movie is good but never lives up to those opening minutes). Alternately, you can hear the music here but it isn’t quite the same without the amazing scene. “For This Sin (featuring Jules Larson)” by Jeff Cardoni.

As a writer, I wish I could use music to instantly tell my audience the tone, genre, and energy of the story they were about to read. I find it entirely believable that our reading devices of the future could come embedded with soundtracks to match the pace of the reader.

Until then, here are a few songs that I listened to while working on my Regency romance novella, Ruined Reputations. Since it’s a period piece, I chose music that didn’t use too many modern instruments (not too much electric guitar and synth for this soundtrack). The two tales, “The Unusual Mr. Aarons” and “Virtue’s Temptation” are sweet and sometimes funny with an undertone of longing.

  • For This Sin (feat. Jules Larson) by Jeff Cardoni
  • Earned It by The Weeknd from 50 Shades of Grey soundtrack
  • The Look of Love by Diana Krall
  • Everywhere by lissie
  • On Less Bell to Answer/A House is not a Home – Glee Soundtrack
  • Issues (acoustic version) by Julia Michaels

Lela lives in a modest house with her husband, children, and pets. Despite living in the far north, she requires a certain amount of sunshine each day or she gets grumpy. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys strolling, gardening, reading, and tea time with friends.

She enjoys stories with intimacy and humor.

Amazon Author Page:



“A tantalizing pair of Regency tales.” ~Emmy Z. Madrigal

“Ruined Reputations is a love letter to high romance of the Brontes with the meticulous eye for detail that readers crave like oxygen itself.” ~MJ Sherry-author of the Back Page Babylon series

–The Unusual Manners of Mr. Aarons–

Rumors of Mr. Aarons unconventional ways are confirmed when he nearly yanks the bonnet off Emmaline’s cousin’s head. Drawn by his charm and good looks, Emmaline finds herself assisting him in his mysterious mission.

His obscure search appears to lead to her cousin, beautiful Catherine Connersfield. She is the more sensible choice, but will she have him? More to the point, will Emmaline let her?

–Virtue’s Temptation–

Experience has taught Eleanor it’s better to be practical than passionate.

When she discovers Bitsy eloping with her French tutor, scandal threatens to ruin the girl.

To keep her reputation intact, Eleanor reluctantly chaperones the rebellious heiress.

Eleanor’s spotless character protects Bitsy, but behaving respectably proves difficult when tempted by the dangerously attractive Mr. Stinson.

If she fails it will end with … Ruined Reputations.

August 18, 2014

Meet My Character: Rob Malloy from Sweet Dreams

IRCLive Awards NomineeWelcome to the Meet My Character blog tour! I decided to participate in this fun activity because I thought you Sweet Dreamers would really dig finding out more information about Rob Malloy from the Sweet Dreams Series. Rob Malloy happens to be up for an indie award for Best Book Boyfriend. He’s in third place right now and the next phase of voting starts Sept. 1st, 2014! To vote for him, or read the write up, go to this link:

Beth Barany invited me to this blog tour and she is a dynamo, so I figured why not? Beth has been writing, speaking, and coaching writers for a long time. She’s a great person to know and I encourage you to check out her work at:

Now for the info you all want to know about Rob. Plus, I added in a couple more questions from you Sweet Dreams readers.

Robert (Rob) Malloy


  • Is he/she fictional or a historic person? Fictional.
  • When and where is the story set? It’s a modern tale about a girl and guy who fall in love after crashing into one another in the airport on Christmas Day.
  • What should we know about him/her? Rob is an advertising/management consultant who does his job very well. The one thing missing in his life is a girl he can be himself with and enjoy his very little off time with.
  • What is the main conflict? In the first two books, Rob seems a man of control who knows everyone in the entertainment business and is hard to shake. Novel one’s conflict is that Victoria is from a poor family, while he is a country club, society guy. Novel two follows Victoria and Rob while they get her singing career off the ground. In the third novel, you really get to see Rob’s demeanor under pressure as someone kidnaps Victoria and almost kills her. When he is thrown into a situation where he does not have control, Mr. Perfect must struggle with the fact that he may not know how to handle every situation thrown at him. The thought of losing Victoria scares him into admitting he has more to learn about life.
  • SweetDreamsCoverWhat messes up his/her life? The conflict in the third book really throws Rob a curve ball. He thinks he has everything figured out and although he is perceived as the man with the plan in every situation, he finds he doesn’t have all the answers.
  • What is the personal goal of the character? Rob is an overachiever with two objectives: To win every deal and to spend the rest of his life making his love, Victoria, happy.
  • Is there a working title for this novel, and can we read more about it? The Sweet Dreams Musical Romance Series is available now at
  • When can we expect the book to be published? 1-3 are available in print and 4 is available in audio. 5 and more are coming soon! 🙂

Reader questions:

  • (Sandra) What kind of underwear does Rob wear? He’s a black boxer brief kinda guy.
  • (Kelley) Rob seems totally straight-laced. I can’t imagine him going to parties with “Kegger”. What did he do there? Make business contacts? Hehehe… yes, it does seem rather odd to picture him there. First, Rob was not always as responsible as he is now. He had his share of routy teenager fun. He counts his blessings that he never got caught or injured in the process. He is rather tame, though. His kind of mischief was drinking and loud parties. (Unlike Raul who might be smoking pot before trying to roll a liquor store with his homies.) However, even though Rob did participate in those sorts of things, he never really enjoyed partying like most people his age. He felt it was a waste of time and only indulged when the pressure from his father got to be too much.
  • tlsmall(LeslieAnne) I can’t believe he bought the whole golddigger thing. I was so mad at him when he bought Steve’s story. How come he didn’t stick up for Vic? Even though Rob is smart about a lot of things, he is still innocent to the evil ways of the world. I think that’s what makes Victoria and Rob so perfect for one another. They both still believe in the goodness of people. Unless proven wrong, they still assume everyone is telling the truth and no underhanded tricks are going on. Kegger (aka Steve) was a mastermind at conning people into believe things. Rob had known Steve for much longer and didn’t have any reason to think his friend was playing him. The fact that Victoria didn’t stick up for herself, when she always let her opinions be known to him, contributed to him thinking she was just embarrassed about the event. I know he’s sorry he didn’t read more into it.
  • (Heather) How does Rob maintain friendships when his life is so different from most people’s? Even relating to Derek must be hard. It’s tough. Victoria kinda bridges the gap for him a lot of times, but before her, he really didn’t spend a lot of time with people his own age. Derek is a business contact and he served more of an “adult at the party” kind of capacity when he went out with the band. Rob has always been taught to take care of people, and that is what he does. It will be interesting to see how his social capacity grows as his relationship with Victoria goes further. Will she bring out the inner child in him so that he can let go and enjoy himself?


Thank you for meeting Rob Malloy! If you’d like to meet more characters, check out the following blogs for more Meet My Character blogs starting on August 25th, 2014.


Sumiko Saulson is the author of three sci-fi/horror novels, “Solitude,” “Warmth”, and “The Moon Cried Blood, and short story anthology “Things That Go Bump In My Head.” Born to African-American and Russian-Jewish parents, she is a native Californian, and has spent most of her adult life in the Bay Area.

Lucy Blue is best known as the author of the Bound in Darkness series, a trilogy of dark vampire romances, and the Falconskeep series, gothic faery tales of a witching dynasty in the castle culture of medieval England. Her books have sold thousands of copies in paperback and e-book worldwide and have been translated into German and Italian. Her first book, a collaboration with another author under the name Anne Hathaway-Nayne, was These Our Revels, a tie-in novel to the cult TV show Forever Knight. Her most recent, Strange as Angels, is a contemporary horror romance published by Purple Sword Publications in October 2013.  She lives in Chester, South Carolina, with her husband, Justin Glanville, an artist and aspiring RPG designer, and their shockingly bad but brilliant Jack Russell terrier, Luke.

Tracy McGinty Ford is a graduate from Middle Tennessee State University with a bachelor’s of science degree in archaeology and medieval history. She is the author of the book, Goddesses of Lilith, published through May December Publications. It is currently available through Amazon as a paperback or an e-book. She is currently working on her next book, a sequel to the first, Sons of Cain. You can also find Tracy playing the bass guitar with the band, Lady E & The Blacklight in Nashville, TN.

 C. A.Milson is an award winning horror author of 4 books (and counting); Founder of ASJ Publishing, and seldom film producer. He resides in Melbourne, Australia and likes to spend his time in his backyard hobbyfarm of 13 chooks, and draws inspiration from the horrors that lay in wait in the darkness. C.A.Milson can be found at:

Chantal Boudreau is an accountant by day and an author/illustrator during evenings and weekends, who lives by the ocean in beautiful Nova Scotia, Canada with her husband and two children. In addition to being a CMA-MBA, she has a BA with a major in English from Dalhousie University. A member of the Horror Writers Association, she writes and illustrates horror, dark fantasy and fantasy and has had several of her stories published in a variety of horror anthologies, online journals and magazines. Fervor, her debut novel, a dystopian science fantasy tale, was released in March of 2011 by May December Publications, followed by its sequels, Elevation, Transcendence and Providence. Magic University, the first in her fantasy series, Masters & Renegades, made its appearance in September 2011 followed by Casualties of War in 2012 and Prisoners of Fate, in 2013. Find out more at:

Cinsearae S. is the Editor/Publisher of award-winning Dark Gothic Resurrected Magazine and a graphic designer for Damnation Books and independent authors. Author of The ABRAXAS Series, Diary of a Vampire Stripper (Top 10 Finisher, P&E Readers Poll, 2012), and In The Beginning (published through Black Bed Sheet Books), Cinsearae is an avid lover of all things gothic and horrific, and is a huge Vincent Price fan. Her Etsy shop, Mistress Rae’s Decadent Designs specializes in one-of-a-kind creepy dolls, Steampunk/Victorian/Halloween inspired jewelry, accessories, and more, receiving Fright Times’ 2012 Award for Best Horror Collectible. She also has her own anthology imprint, BLOODY KISSES PRESS under well-renowned Horrified Press. She lives with her husband and two rat terriers, aptly named Hades and Chaos. Visit her at

Laurel Anne Hill’s award-winning novel Heroes Arise was released by KOMENAR Publishing in 2007. Over 25 of her short stories have been published, most recently in the anthologies How Beer Saved the World, Fault Zone, Tales of Fortannis: A Bard in the Hand and Shanghai Steam. Shanghai Steam, nominated for one of Canada’s prestigious Aurora Awards in 2013, is now recommended by Writing Fantasy & Science Fiction. Laurel writes science fiction, fantasy, steampunk and horror. She serves as Literary Stage Manager for the San Mateo County Fair in California, and is working on her next novel. More at

Linda Ciletti grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where she discovered her love for classic fairytales through her many childhood visits to the Hazelwood public library. She now resides in a quaint bungalow in the beautiful Western Pennsylvanian  suburbs. She is the mother of three lovely daughters, one handsome son, and three extremely crazy cats. She is a member of the Greensburg Writers Group, Ligonier Valley Writers, and a former member of Romance Writers of America. An eclectic writer, Linda writes in the genres of medieval historical, time travel paranormal, contemporary, and fantasy, all with romantic subplots that exhibits her love of fairytales and happily ever afters. Her medieval historical, Draegon’s Lair, won an Epic Award for best historical romance. Other published novels include KnightStalker and Dream of the Archer. Her poems and photos have been featured in literary magazines and her sole foray into horror, “The Hunger” has been both podcasted and published in the anthology The Wickeds. When not serving the writing muse, Linda immerses herself in illustration and graphics, doing photography, virtual world content creation, and book cover design. Her favorite childhood fairytale?  Beauty and the Beast.

Donna Emerich was born and raised in Hancock, NY. She has three children. She loves horror and has several degrees in various fields. She loves to write and draw. Find out more at:



July 7, 2014

The My Writing Process Blog Tour

Horror author Jo-Anne Russell invited me on this blog tour. You can find out more about her and her novel The Nightmare Project at:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis tour is all about writing process. I find writing such a personal thing. Everyone does it differently and it works for them, but trying someone else’s routine or method can sometimes knock you right off your rails! So here are my answers. For readers, you might find it interesting and for you new writers out there, maybe you’ll find something useful.

Questions answered by me, Emmy Z. Madrigal, about writing the Sweet Dreams Series.

tlsmall1) What am I working on?

Reading the proof and making final changes to True Love?, which will come out in print in July. Also writing #6, 2 B with U. I just hit the 18,000 mark and introduced a new character that I love.

2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I think what makes mine different from other high school dramas is that I try to keep the situations real, meaningful, and with situations that lovers in high school deal with. The music element is unique as well. I always thought of my books as a modern version of Fame, but now that Glee is in the picture, I think it’s most like that, except not being on national television, I can keep the sex scenes. No fade to black here!

3) Why do I write what I do?

I can’t help myself. Sweet Dreams just pours out of me. I know the characters so well, they are like family. In fact, my husband and I treat them like people we know. My husband will come home and say, “I saw Mr. Malloy today.” And I know he means he saw a gentleman in his late fifties, dressed in a full suit, commanding attention, even if he was just at the 7-11. Since my husband is a writer, I talk about his characters the same way. We often wonder what would happen if they met, and then it goes all down hill from there.  I made up these characters in high school, so they’ve been with me longer than any friend, before I met my husband, and have stayed true to their nature. They sometimes wake me up at night to tell me a story, but as long as they don’t disappear, I won’t complain.

AG2Final4) How does my writing process work?

I am still one of those authors who hand write my work. I will write sixty-some pages out and when I get to the point where I don’t remember what I’ve written, or have to go back to check a plot line or something, I will type it in and print it out. My mind works much too fast for typing in stories. Writing long hand makes my mind slow down and think about description and mood. When I type it in, then I can add in a lot of detail and scene transition. I also like the flexibility of hand writing my work. I write in little Japanese notebooks that are easily taken with me. #6 2 B with U, was written in the park, the beach, Los Angeles, San Francisco, in my house, in my car, in the waiting room, etc… Versatility is a plus when I’m on the go. The only work I’ve typed in while writing is the Anime Girl series. For some reason, those ideas came to me late at night when I was just about to sleep and the only thing I had with me at the time was my tablet, so by the glow of tablet light, I typed away.

Hope this was fun to read. Remember, if you ever have questions about me, the series, or my writing habits, please contact me at:

 Next on the blog tour will be three lovely ladies. Their posts will go live on July 21st. Please check them out!

Carrie Sessarego is the resident ‘geek reviewer’ for, and the creator and writer of  She’s the author of Pride, Prejudice, and Popcorn:  TV and Film Adaptations of Pride and Prejudice, Wuthering Heights, and Jane Eyre, as well as Romance in Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  When not reading and writing, you can find Carrie volunteering for the Sacramento Public Library, and getting into trouble with her mad scientist husband, amazing daughter, suitably mysterious cats, and highly neurotic dog.  Carrie’s zombie apocalypse kit contains copies of Jane Eyre, Lord of the Rings, and many, many Oreos.

Chantal Boudreau is an accountant by day and an author/illustrator during evenings and weekends, who lives by the ocean in beautiful Nova Scotia, Canada with her husband and two children. In addition to being a CMA-MBA, she has a BA with a major in English from Dalhousie University. An affiliate member of the Horror Writers Association, she writes and illustrates horror, dark fantasy and fantasy and has had several of her stories published in a variety of horror anthologies, online journals and magazines. Fervor, her debut novel, a dystopian science fantasy tale, was released in March of 2011 by May December Publications, followed by its sequels, Elevation, Transcendence and Providence. Magic University, the first in her fantasy series, Masters & Renegades, made its appearance in September 2011 followed by Casualties of War in 2012 and Prisoners of Fate, in 2013. Find out more at:

Elizabeth Delana Rosa has always been a writer. When she first learned to write in Kindergarten, she wrote about pigs who “groo” wings and became “butterfys.” Elizabeth knew way back then that she would have a love affair with writing. It overtook her life and has been a constant companion. Now over 20 years later, that love flows over into writing blogs, reviews, poetry and fantasy novels. Lastly Elizabeth is a big nerd. She loves Fantasy, YA, Paranormal Romance, and Sci-Fi books. Her dream is to promote Authors and help them reach the highest level of Success, while writing her own YA and NA Fantasy Novels. She often says, “I do hope that my stories connect with people of all ages, genders and races. All it takes is a good story to unite people who wouldn’t normally be on the same side.” Find out more at:


Emmy Z. Madrigal is the author of the musical romance series, Sweet Dreams and the artist spin-off Anime Girl. Her love of music and the Jazz masters of the Big Band Era have always inspired her life and her writing. She also writes horror and vampire fiction under the name Emerian Rich. To find out more, go to:

April 3, 2014

Sweet Dreams 4: Undecided, Chapter 10

Click to listen:undecided

In Chapter 10, Cynthia and James discuss their future. Victoria practices music with Never Open and Raul walks her home.

More information at

Voices by: Emmy Z. Madrigal, J. Malcolm Stewart, and Kate Wade.


Theme song, “Single Girls”written by Laura Jansen, preformed by Marinda Wijnen.

Speical song for this chapter, “Without You” by Brad Wait.




December 27, 2013

Sweet Dreams Game- Submit to win!

A few people have asked about the Sweet Dreams Game – when submitting their pics of them doing the tasks, if they have to be in the pictures. The answer is no. If you are the shy type, or just don’t want your picture plastered over the internet, you don’t have to send a pic with you in it. If you are at lunch with a friend, just send a pic of lunch or the rose you bought, or the music you’re dancing to. Don’t forget to submit your pictures to win the one-of-a-kind prize! And a letter from Rob and Victoria! 🙂

Full Game Details here: